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I still live in terror after shooting thief dead, reveals Nally

FARMER Padraig Nally, who shot dead intruder John 'Frog' Ward, is still living in fear in his home, he has said.

Mr Nally (68), from Cross in Co Mayo, was cleared of manslaughter after shooting dead Traveller Ward, who he caught breaking into his home eight years ago.

He had initially been found guilty of the offence and sentenced to six years in jail.

However, his conviction was later quashed and he was released.

Ward (42), a dad of 11, died after being shot twice and struck 20 times with a stick.

"I was happy until events changed. I'm on edge now, it's panicky. It's severe," Mr Nally said. "Anybody who has been upset once is upset forever. It's very hard to get back to real life again. There are so many now that are living in fear."

On the question of whether he considers himself a hero, Mr Nally said: "Not really."

He added: "I'm still who I am. Padraig Nally is Padraig Nally. I stand on two shoes and nothing more."

He said nobody liked to be touched in their own homes.

"It's never the same again. Fear. It's all fear," he told Charlie Bird in an RTE programme to be aired tonight.

When he was in jail, Mr Nally missed the fresh air because he was "confined behind a big, high wall".

He said many farmers living in isolation "seem to be fearful in their homes". New laws protecting homeowners who defend themselves against intruders do not go far enough, he believes.

The Defence and Dwelling Act, which came into effect in January, allows families to use "reasonable force" against burglars.

"You're told that you can stand your ground in your own home," Mr Nally said.

"But then they tell you 'run out the back door if you hear them coming', The law is changed but it's not changed for the burglar."

He has stayed single as a lot of married people "are not happy", he added.

Many locals in his own community had been supportive of him since he was released from jail, he said.

In 2008, the farmer revealed: "It's a lonely life living on your own and to worry about people coming back again to abuse you or threaten your life again like before, when my house was broken into and I had to defend myself."

He had spent 11 months in jail before he was freed.

Before the killing, the farmer had been tormented by burglars and frequently slept in his shed to protect himself.

While he regretted shooting Mr Ward, he insisted he had "no choice".

"When a man attacks you, you have to defend yourself, you have no choice. And I was attacked," he said.